South Island of New Zealand: description, features, nature and interesting facts


The first European to visit the South Island of NewZealand, became a navigator from the Netherlands Abel Tasman. In 1642 he landed in the Bay of Golden Bay Bay. His visit can not be called successful: the people of Tasman were attacked by Maori (indigenous people) who decided that the aliens were trying to rob their plantations.

Europeans who arrived on the South Island of NewZeeland in the second half of the XVIII century, were in the midst of Maori tribal wars. The indigenous population made attempts to attack the Europeans, but suffered serious losses. The British offered to the tribes barter trade, as a result of which the Maori were paid for their guns with potatoes and pigs.

The capture of the South Island was also attempted by France, creatingcolony of Akaroa. Today it is a town in which street names are still written in French. The same attempt was made by a private English company in 1840. As a result, the British authorities proclaimed the island the property of the British Crown.

northern and southern islands of new Zealand

Over time, Europeans began to formmost of the population. The gold rush that began in the sixties of the nineteenth century turned the indigenous population into a national minority and significantly enriched the South Island, while the Northern shook the bloody land wars between Maori and the British. According to the Westminster Statute, in 1931 the North and South Islands were granted independence.

South Island: description

The area of ​​the island is 150 437 km ². In size it is the twelfth island in the world. Along its western coast stretches the chain of the Southern Alps. Here is the highest point of the country - Mount Cook (3754 m). Eighteen mountain peaks of the island exceed three thousand meters in height.

In the mountains there are 360 ​​glaciers. The largest of these are the peaks of Franz Josef, Fox, Tasman. In the Pleistocene period, the glaciers descended to the Canterbury Plain (east coast) and occupied much of the present province of Otago. These areas are characterized by U-shaped valleys, dissected relief and very cold lakes with an elongated shape: Manapouri, Wakatipu, Javea and Te-Anau. One of the highest waterfalls in New Zealand is Sutherland (580 m).

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Almost one third more than the North South Island. South Island (New Zealand) is inhabited by only a fifth of all residents of the country. The eastern part is mostly populated - its most flat half. Here, the local population grows wheat and breeds sheep. In addition, the coast has developed fishing, the main commercial fish are sea bass and marine language.

Strait of Fovo

This is the place where crabs are caught. The strait is considered to be the oyster area of ​​New Zealand. In autumn, oysters of bluff are collected here, which have an unusual and memorable taste. They got their name from the southern port of the country, which was based on the site of the early settlement of the Majori.


The largest city of the island was founded in1848 as an Anglican colony. The status of the city was first in the country in 1856. Christchurch is located on the Canterbury Plain - the main agricultural and livestock district of the country.

 south island new zealand weather

Climatic conditions

The climate of the South Island is oceanic. In mountainous areas - quite severe Alpine. Glaciers and snow do not melt here even in summer. The southern island (New Zealand) is distinguished by western air currents. The weather here is quite changeable even during the day.

The average temperature in January is from +10 to +17 ° C,in July - from +4 to +9 ° C, in the mountains = negative values ​​of the thermometer. During the year, from 500 to 1000 mm of precipitation falls on the east coast, from 2000 mm - on the north-western, to 5000 mm - on the western slopes of the Southern Alps. The average air humidity is 75%.


The southern island of New Zealand is seismically dangerous. In recent years, there have been three catastrophic earthquakes. One of them happened in Canterbury in 2010 (magnitude 7.1), it was caused by shifts in the bark of the Pacific plate. As a result, more than one hundred people were injured, more than half of the buildings in and around Christchurch were damaged and damaged.

A year later (2011) in Canterbury, anotheran earthquake measuring 6.3 points. It was a continuation of the previous one. However, its consequences were harder: 185 people died, most buildings were destroyed.

In November 2016, another devastating earthquake occurred north-east of Christchurch. It was triggered by a tsunami.

New Zealand South Island Attractions

New Zealand, South Island: attractions

On this largest island of the country there isa lot of interesting historical and natural attractions that attract tourists from all over the world. Fans of architectural monuments we recommend to visit the city of Dunedin, which is considered the Scottish city of the country, in addition, it is often called New Zealand's Edinburgh. Founded it, as you might guess, the settlers from Scotland. For him, the place of a long-dead volcano was chosen. The city has a unique relief with many inclined streets and magnificent Gothic buildings.

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In one more large settlement of the island -You can appreciate the splendor of old buildings in the Gothic style and modern buildings made in the style of hi-tech. Here there are also natural attractions - a huge Botanical Garden, which covers an area of ​​30 hectares. It amazes with an abundance of amazing vegetation, including exotic.

From the architectural attractions of the islandit is worth mentioning the Pelorus bridge connecting the banks of the river of the same name, which carries its waters through a nature reserve with dense beech forests, in which a fern grows.

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Interesting Facts

  • Mount Cook in 1851 was named the researcherNew Zealand captain John Stoker in honor of the famous traveler James Cook, who visited the island in 1769, put on maps almost the entire coastline, but the mountain, which is named after him, he did not see.
  • Norvest arch is a special weather phenomenon thatcalled "Canterbury Arch", because it occurs only on this plain. This is an arc formed by a white cloud in the blue sky. The phenomenon causes a warm and very strong north-west wind, better known as norewester.
  • In the center of the island on the walls of the caves, more500 patterned charcoal. Presumably they are made by ancient Maori. Interestingly, the Europeans who came to the island claimed that the local people at that time already knew nothing about the people who left drawings of people, animals and some fantastic creatures.
  • In Dunedin there is Larnac Castle. He is the only one in the country. The castle was built by local financier and politician William Larnac for his first wife. In the construction of used English tiles, Venetian glass, Italian marble, valuable species of trees rimu and kauri. Today, the castle and the surrounding garden have been restored and restored.

How to move to live on the island?

Magnificent nature, perfectly clean air,a developed and stable economy, social security and a high standard of living are just a few of the reasons that attract tourists to the island of South (New Zealand). Probably everyone dreams of moving to live here. However, it is not so easy to visit this island kingdom. Emigration implies strict compliance with a number of conditions and requirements of the kingdom.

Preparing to move to the South Island of New Zealandfor permanent residence, do not trust firms that propose to circumvent the law. In this case, you risk losing money and time. Moving to New Zealand can be carried out in legal ways:

  1. On a quota for young professionals.
  2. Through demanded specialties.
  3. For education.
  4. By investing in the economy of the country.
  5. For the reunification of the family (including spouses).
  6. When you get refugee status.

More information on the required documents can be obtained from the Embassy of New Zealand in Russia.

Reviews of tourists

Despite the great distance separatingRussia and the South Island (New Zealand), the reviews of travelers who have visited this country are quite numerous. According to tourists, everything will be interesting for young people here: from cycling to excursions to yachts and boats. At night you can visit nightclubs, during the day - go fishing, play golf, arrange a picnic on the beach.

The tourists who come here are happy with the restfamilies. There is something to look at and adults and children. Time can well be spent here and by elderly people: for them there is simply paradise: calmness, fresh air, beautiful views, interesting excursions. True, long-distance flight is not always shown for health reasons.

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